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Our Michigan state office was opened in 2008 to serve the needs of child care businesses. Our Michigan team has a deep understanding of the importance of early care and education’s impact on underserved communities, and has provided critical support to business.

Our Michigan team and its work has grown to serve the entire state, providing support to family child care entrepreneurs and child care center business leaders in every corner of Michigan. Whether your business is just launching or you have been in business for decades, our team has tools, resources and expertise to bring your business to its next phase of growth.

Rural Child Care Innovation Program

The Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP) is an innovative community engagement process designed to increase the supply of high-quality child care in rural communities. The purpose of RCCIP is to guide communities in identifying the scope and size of their child care challenges, and to empower and support communities to develop solutions to address these challenges.

Successfully engaging communities across Michigan

The FCF Michigan team has successfully helped numerous Michigan communities develop action plans that successfully identified opportunities and challenges in the development of sustainable child care. These community engagements covered rural areas from northeast corner of the state to southwest counties bordering Indiana.

Read more about these successful community interactions, including the developed action plans.

Want to find out more about RCCIP and how it might be beneficial in your community’s efforts to grow sustainable child care? Contact FCF Michigan Director James Henderson at



RCCIP Success Story: Arenac County / North Bay

Arenac County/Northern Bay (MI) partnered with First Children’s Finance as part of the Rural Child Care Innovation Program (RCCIP). Analysis showed a child care shortage of approximately 522 child care slots.

Focus groups, individual interviews, and surveys highlighted factors contributing to a child care shortage in the area:

  • Providers were affected by numerous rules and regulations, low pay and no benefits, long hours, and high operating costs.
  • Staffing was 60-80 percent of overall expenses for providers.
  • Parents were severely impacted; 58 percent of respondents declined employment or withdrew from the workforce due to child care issues.

The RCCIP process identified goals for Arenac/Northern Bay County:

  • Promote community support to license the Arenac Community Center to house a child care center.
  • Support the startup of a child care center in the city of Pinconning.
  • Create a Revolving Loan Fund to help families eligible for child care subsidy, while they waited for applications to be approved.
  • Promote partnerships among providers, employers and working families.

These goals have helped the communities as they address child care supply issues and plan for a successful future.

Child Care Business Services

FCF grows the supply of sustainable, excellent child care. Our business development programs and services help entrepreneurs launch, stabilize, improve, and expand child care businesses.

Child care businesses in Michigan are eligible to participate in a variety of trainings, workshops, cohorts, and individual consultation . To learn more about our services, please complete our Client Inquiry Form, or send an email to


Our Services

Spring 2024 Trainings

Community Consultations

Individual Business Consultation

 Community Conversations

Start here to access our services or learn more about support your child care business journey.

What Our Michigan Clients Are Saying

“Being in the Business Leadership Cohort was equivalent to several business college courses. It  prompted my initiative to build our business plan. Breaking down the business plan simplified the process and eliminated the overwhelming aspect.

I particularly liked the break down of sessions because it allowed me, as a business owner,  the time to absorb the information and apply it effectively. Overall, the training was beneficial because it allowed me to organize things. The fact that all business scenarios and material was directed toward early child care truly simplified things because we knew exactly where to apply the information.”

LaShawn Bridges, Child Care Entrepreneur, Blessed Beginnings

Projects: Blessed Beginnings Increases Financial Stability

LaShawn Bridges of Blessed Beginnings Learning Center, LLC was faced with shoeboxes of receipts and loads of documents with no real system for managing her family child care business records. She felt like her business was operating fine but record keeping attempts were not a priority. LaShawn applied for several grants within the community and received two. She attributed the success of those grant applications to the help FCF gave her to understand the importance of good record keeping, regularly reviewing financial information, and being comfortable talking about how financial needs were related to business success.

Read the full story in the link below.

Our First Children’s Finance Michigan Team

James Henderson

Michigan Director
Direct: 612-279-6523

Jessica Affholter

Business Development Manager – Michigan
Direct: 612-464-5090

Angeliek Lopez

Business Development Specialist – Michigan
Direct: 612-439-9651

Alexis Townsend

Business Development Specialist – Michigan